Richard Abowitz, the author of Vegas blog Movable Buffet, lost his cool this week about UFC media policies. In doing so, he made a buffoon of himself.

Using the MMA expertise exhibited by Robin Leach, Abowitz writes this gem…

Of course, next time, I can always just buy a ticket and go blog about the UFC event. But that might not be necessary. UFC’s moment may be passing anyway. Ortiz, the league’s biggest star, now is done with UFC, and the league is facing increased competition.

On his blog, Leach also reports about speculation on the future of Ortiz and for White’s UFC: “Will Tito join a rival Mixed Martial Arts league or retire and how will White take on his more bitter rivals in the XC Extreme Sports league that starts its CBS TV network coverage next Saturday night from Newark, New Jersey. If a ratings success I am reliably told three further fights would be broadcast live from Vegas.”

And, of course, network fights on CBS are likely to get many more viewers than pay-for-view and cable fights. That would begin to make UFC obsolete even as it approaches mainstream status. When I first wrote about a UFC fight in 2006 that league was bringing unprecedented attention to mixed martial arts. But maybe now it is time for the next big sensation. I wonder if XC Extreme Sports requires select press to sign a credential application?

Wow, what a clown. Let’s start with Tito Ortiz is the league’s biggest star…really?

I do believe that Elite XC will do very well in the ratings on CBS. And that means more exposure on network TV. That’s if the organization can pull itself out of a horrible financial hole. Plus anyone, who’s followed this stuff knows UFC will get a network TV deal when it wants. It’s not a matter of, if but when. 

If you’re wondering why Abowitz sounds like a vindictive pansy, apparently he got the run around in trying to get credentialed for UFC 84.

One local journalist who covered Saturday’s Ultimate Fighting Championship card at MGM’s Grand Garden Arena wrote me an e-mail, offering this impression:  “UFC attempts to be more controlling than other sports. UFC sounds like it’s trying to hem in media.”

We were discussing his experience as well as the credential application that UFC demanded that I sign to be approved to cover the fight. The application specified everything from the trivial, forbidding my wearing certain clothes, to the ridiculous, controlling where and when I was allowed to write about the event forever more. In explaining this bizarre credential application that most would call not an application but a contract, UFC events manager Diann Brizzolara wrote me: “We have the right to protect our brand and how coverage taken from our events is disseminated.” Actually, UFC does not have that right to control “how coverage taken…is disseminated” at all. This rather unique privilege in fact is what the credential application is trying to give them a back door claim to having. Brizzolara continued, “Other sports leagues, such as the NFL, have similar regulations printed on the back of their press passes.” Two points: Similar isn’t identical, and regulations on the back of a press pass are a wish list because they do not require my signature of agreement. Oh and the obvious, the UFC is no NFL.

Interestingly, in another e-mail, Brizzolara also wrote to me defensively that the UFC credential application was “actually reviewed by our COO (who also has a law degree).”  Huh?  Who is the COO’s client: UFC or media?


Explore posts in the same categories: Media musings, MMA, UFC

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